Oral Literature: The Hare and The Warthog

The hare was full of happiness one morning as the sun rose over the hills, and he tripped along the path to gather pumpkins from his lands nearby. Were not his children the most beautiful in the land? And certainly, he had reason to be proud of his flocks of sheep and goats. His crops, too, were all that could be desired. Yes, life was indeed good.

He was so preoccupied thinking about his possessions that he failed to watch the path, and suddenly he was wrenched up into the air. There he hung by a leg from a short rope attached to a long sapling, which had been driven into the ground – he had put his foot into a trap that had been cunningly hidden in the path.

“Oh, oh, oh!” he shrieked. “Help! Please, dear friends, come and cut me down. Oh, help, help!”

It was unfortunate for the hare that not a single friend was within earshot, nor did any pass that way throughout the day. But it was fortunate indeed that the man who had set the trap happened to be spending the day at a nearby village, where a beer party was taking place, and had forgotten all about the snare.

The hours passed slowly, and the hare wept bitterly as he thought of his dear wife, his children, and his beautiful flocks of sheep and goats, which he would never see again.

It was late in the afternoon when he saw a warthog trotting along the path towards him, tail in the air and full of importance. Here was help at last, thought the hare, and he was about to call out when the warthog saw him.

“Ho, ho, ho!” laughed the heartless creature, “is it not the Wise One I see hanging by his leg in such an undignified manner? Oh, this is too funny! Ho, ho, ho!”

The hare suppressed his anger at the warthog’s laughter and unkind words and said, “Dear friend Warthog, please release me. When the owner of this trap finds me, he will kill me because of all the mealies I have taken from his garden.”

The warthog continued to laugh at the hare’s misfortune, so the hare said, “Please, good friend, if you are not willing to help me, then at least call my friends to cut me down.”

However, instead of calling the hare’s friends, the warthog called his family, who joined in making fun of the unfortunate hare. Realising that he could expect no help from the hard-hearted warthog family, the hare said no more.

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